In addition to loving pilates, I am also a cat lover. As I was browsing my book shelf the other day, I ran across one of my favorite cat books entitled, “All I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat.” The book is short and sweet and full of funny illustrations and its title is catchy. Indeed, we can all learn much about life from our pets, other people, experiences…pilates?
Pilates—YES! We all lead such busy lives these days and I am no exception. There are so many things to get done every day. Classes to prepare for and teach, equipment to maintain, accounting, building maintenance, correspondence, personal practice, etc. As I was going about one of my busy days recently, I thought of a phrase I use with my clients, “pilates is a game of millimeters, not inches.” This phrase stuck in my mind and that day, instead of trying to tackle “the most important big thing on my to do list,” I focused on finishing something very small. In fact, I forced myself to do the smallest thing possible and nothing more.
After doing so, a funny thing happened. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with all I needed to accomplish, I felt empowered! That one tiny action lead to me wanting to do another very small thing. Before I knew it, many things that I had been putting off were getting done without too much fuss or effort. And, after all, “big” things are really just small things with more components. In reality, nothing really is that BIG.
As in pilates, “difficult” exercises are broken down into manageable bits. Small actions are mastered and lead to bigger actions, and soon, the whole thing comes together! However, you never fully “master” pilates because once you think that you have “arrived,” you see that there is more to go. As in life, I will never fully get my “to do list” done because there will always be more to do.
However, taking even the tiniest steps every day is truly the key to success! Lesson: when you feel overwhelmed, take a moment. Ask yourself: “what is the smallest action I could take today, to keep me on the right path?” Answer that question and do that. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step; mastering the Hundred begins with one breath. Indeed, all I need to know, I learned from Pilates.